Thoughts on Subscription

In todays upFront.eZine newsletter, Ralph Grabowski mentions a reader who wrote this to him regarding AutoCAD 2008:

“Amazingly my company is going to go to 2008. They have been on subscription, but only running 2005. No one bothered to install 2006 or 2007 even though they paid all of that money for subscription.”

This company is either too rich or too stupid or both. Or this may be a perfect example of how Autodesk’s carefully crafted subscription policy works for them.

There are people like us who go out of our way to ensure that our customers spend wisely. And then there are people like these who make me wonder whether it is worth taking all that trouble.

  • ralphg

    Subscriptions are psychologically crafted like extended warranties and travel insurance: you pay now for something that might happen in the future. The salesman is appealing to your need for feeling assured.

    In the case of software subscriptions, it’s the updated software that you hope to one day install. Then the reality of disruption sets in, and you never get around to it. (Just like you really don’t want the disruption of your electronic gizmo needing warranty work, or your flight being cancelled.)

    It could be that the company found it cheaper to pay for unused subscriptions than for three-release-old upgrade prices.

  • ralphg

    Subscriptions are psychologically crafted like extended warranties and travel insurance: you pay now for something that might happen in the future. The salesman is appealing to your need for feeling assured.In the case of software subscriptions, it’s the updated software that you hope to one day install. Then the reality of disruption sets in, and you never get around to it. (Just like you really don’t want the disruption of your electronic gizmo needing warranty work, or your flight being cancelled.)It could be that the company found it cheaper to pay for unused subscriptions than for three-release-old upgrade prices.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    “This company is either too rich or too stupid or both.”

    Or could it be Deelip that this particular company knows what they are doing. There are many reasons for doing just this that are neither stupid nor because they are to rich. As a supplier you are entitled your thoughts but these thoughts would have been better left in your head not in print.

    Now I tell you why I have done exactly the same thing with a licence of AutoCAD and one of Inventor; both of which I use earlier versions than I hold. My reason is simple, Autodesk refuses to resolve issues I have raised in relation to their later contracts. They and their dealers are simply refusing to discuss the contracts, with me, whilst at the same time claiming they have addressed my concerns. So I cannot accept the contracts, therefore cannot load the software or access services but I need to keep the subscription current to ensure the moment we do resolve the issues I can then immediately set about using the software without any additional cost penalties.
    The less costly penalty is to subscribe and hope Autodesk will come to its senses than to accept the alternative.
    But there is a trap here, a very real ‘catch 22’, and I have no doubt Autodesk knows what it is. However in the interim I will continue to do what I have done and hope that some time soon Autodesk, or one of its dealers, will actually do what they say they do and that is listen to a customer and address the issues.

    Continue to do what you do well Deelip and let customers decide how they apply your products. If you have done your job properly customers will see the worth of your effort and respond accordingly and or appropriately and their decision is the best one. “The customer is always right”.

  • R. Paul Waddington

    “This company is either too rich or too stupid or both.”Or could it be Deelip that this particular company knows what they are doing. There are many reasons for doing just this that are neither stupid nor because they are to rich. As a supplier you are entitled your thoughts but these thoughts would have been better left in your head not in print.Now I tell you why I have done exactly the same thing with a licence of AutoCAD and one of Inventor; both of which I use earlier versions than I hold. My reason is simple, Autodesk refuses to resolve issues I have raised in relation to their later contracts. They and their dealers are simply refusing to discuss the contracts, with me, whilst at the same time claiming they have addressed my concerns. So I cannot accept the contracts, therefore cannot load the software or access services but I need to keep the subscription current to ensure the moment we do resolve the issues I can then immediately set about using the software without any additional cost penalties.The less costly penalty is to subscribe and hope Autodesk will come to its senses than to accept the alternative.But there is a trap here, a very real ‘catch 22’, and I have no doubt Autodesk knows what it is. However in the interim I will continue to do what I have done and hope that some time soon Autodesk, or one of its dealers, will actually do what they say they do and that is listen to a customer and address the issues.Continue to do what you do well Deelip and let customers decide how they apply your products. If you have done your job properly customers will see the worth of your effort and respond accordingly and or appropriately and their decision is the best one. “The customer is always right”.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul, I think you missed something I said: “Or this may be a perfect example of how Autodesk’s carefully crafted subscription policy works for them.”

    The words to be noted here are “carefully crafted”, and you will see that I am saying pretty much the same as what you are.

    Oh, and by the way, the sole reason for the existence of this blog is to put my thoughts in print and not to leave them in my head.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Paul, I think you missed something I said: “Or this may be a perfect example of how Autodesk’s carefully crafted subscription policy works for them.”The words to be noted here are “carefully crafted”, and you will see that I am saying pretty much the same as what you are.Oh, and by the way, the sole reason for the existence of this blog is to put my thoughts in print and not to leave them in my head.

  • r. paul waddington

    mmmm, ok!

  • r. paul waddington

    mmmm, ok!

  • G. Ross

    If only autodesk’s products were as carefully crafted as its subscription policy. We have used Autodesk products since 1987; but not much longer. They cannot produce a fully cooked release in 12 months and admit this issue to be their most common complaint. When pressed, an Autodesk project manager said there was nothing he could do. Only Autodesk marketing could offer remedy.

    LDT 2007 contains a major design flaw that transparently reassigns roadway templates along part or most of an alignment. Autodesk’s solution was “it will be fixed in 2008”. We have installed 2008 and there is no fix. There is, however, a new and improved “dashboard”. What a deal!

    Autodesk should have notified 2007 users of the problem. It should fix 2007 for those who bought and try to use 2007. 2008 should not have been released with the problem. How would these suggestions be inconsistent with a company of character and honesty?

    Autodesk is expensive, shoddy, and unresponsive. Yearly upgrades are disruptive, infected with flaws or unpleasant surprises (CUI), and hardly worth the effort. We would prefer to pay Autodesk it’s yearly blackmail like subscription fee for a good release every 20-24 months.

    Autodesk marketing has proven, with our subscription, that this sales gimik provides good revenue. I find Bentley less nimble than Autocad, and may require two years to comfortably incorporate. Our Autodesk subscription is due in july. It is time to bite the bullet and abandon our relationship with a too rich, too stupid company.

  • Anonymous

    This seams to be a common issue in all of Autodesks software, they bring out their software to fast and dont invest the time to fix the programs flaws. It is almost like they are producing cars, as they released architecture 2008 not even 6 months into 2007?? I wish they would spend a few years developing the new software so that they can actually fix the flaws before it gets to the consumer.

  • Anonymous

    This seams to be a common issue in all of Autodesks software, they bring out their software to fast and dont invest the time to fix the programs flaws. It is almost like they are producing cars, as they released architecture 2008 not even 6 months into 2007?? I wish they would spend a few years developing the new software so that they can actually fix the flaws before it gets to the consumer.

  • G. Ross

    If only autodesk's products were as carefully crafted as its subscription policy. We have used Autodesk products since 1987; but not much longer. They cannot produce a fully cooked release in 12 months and admit this issue to be their most common complaint. When pressed, an Autodesk project manager said there was nothing he could do. Only Autodesk marketing could offer remedy.

    LDT 2007 contains a major design flaw that transparently reassigns roadway templates along part or most of an alignment. Autodesk's solution was “it will be fixed in 2008”. We have installed 2008 and there is no fix. There is, however, a new and improved “dashboard”. What a deal!

    Autodesk should have notified 2007 users of the problem. It should fix 2007 for those who bought and try to use 2007. 2008 should not have been released with the problem. How would these suggestions be inconsistent with a company of character and honesty?

    Autodesk is expensive, shoddy, and unresponsive. Yearly upgrades are disruptive, infected with flaws or unpleasant surprises (CUI), and hardly worth the effort. We would prefer to pay Autodesk it's yearly blackmail like subscription fee for a good release every 20-24 months.

    Autodesk marketing has proven, with our subscription, that this sales gimik provides good revenue. I find Bentley less nimble than Autocad, and may require two years to comfortably incorporate. Our Autodesk subscription is due in july. It is time to bite the bullet and abandon our relationship with a too rich, too stupid company.